Monday, 24 November 2014

Graduation!!!

Well, after waiting for over a year, I cannot believe I'm saying this, but we graduated! Yesterday, with my fellow MAYI graduates/friends, I experienced one of the most meaningful graduation ceremonies of my life. The organizers and staffs of MAYI had put together an event that exceeded my imagination. I am absolutely moved by this life changing graduation ceremony, especially when I get to share with my dearest friends and family. The joy and proud feeling of achieving this great gift after all the hard work and dedication... Aahh!! Tears of Joy! As much as I am embracing this success, I am also very much aware of the huge responsibility that I have to fulfill. All the precious knowledge that has been taught to me have to reach others. I take this moment to send my heartfelt gratitude to Master Manisekaran (in the photo) and Master Navanesan for nurturing and guiding me throughout the year. If it wasn't for these two great souls, I wouldn't have begun this special journey, This particular journey was unique in its own right, and has created a space and community that I know that I will continue to carry with me into my future endeavors towards learning and teaching yoga. What's next?? Teach, learn and practice. The graduation actually marks the beginning of a new journey, to further my studies and continue sharing as much as I can. So, this is a not a goodbye and more of a see-you-soon to all my friends at MAYI. Can't wait!  ~M~





Thursday, 20 November 2014

Ujjayi Pranayama

As I promised earlier, I am doing a follow up on my current favorite pranayama. Before I even begin, I have to chuckle. I am in awe because I am actually trying to teach a pranayama through a blog post. It is quite difficult to explain the technical aspects of the pranayama and it is much more difficult to not know how anyone is going to adapt or even begin the practice. Oh well, somebody has to do it. Alrighty! Ujjayi.... Something very special, keeping me stable mentally and physically. Ujjayi is extremely simple and produces a hissing sound in the region of the throat. It is far easier to do than to describe. Let's us get on with the techniques and benefits of Ujjayi pranayama.


Technique 1: Basic Ujjayi

  • Sit in a comfortable meditational asana. Close the eyes and relax the facial muscles.
  • A slight contraction of the throat will contract the glottis in the throat.
  • Continue with inhalation and exhalation, slowly and deeply.
  • You should hear a continuous sound emitted from the throat. The sound should be audible to yourself but inaudible to people around. 


Technique 2: Ujjayi incorporated with Khechari Mudra

  • Breathing technique and the sound produced is identical to technique 1.
  • The additional step we include here is Khechari Mudra.
Khechari Mudra - Roll the tongue upwards and the lower surface should touch the upper palate. This mudra should feel comfortable as you will be holding it for some time during ujjayi pranayama. Initially, you may feel immediate discomfort, but continuous practice you can perform khechari mudra for longer periods.  


Benefits.....

  • Removes heat in the head.
  • Removes phlegm in the throat.
  • Practitioner is never attacked by diseases of the phlegm, nerves, chronis stress, enlargement of spleen, dyspepsia, dysentry, cough or fever.
  • Mainly used in conjunction with meditation techniques or merely for relaxation purposes.
  • Immediate calmness of the mind and body.
  • Helpful for people suffering with insomnia and high blood pressure.


I hope that was helpful. I would recommend reaching out to a qualified yoga instructor around you for guidance and better understanding of Ujjayi pranayama. Share with me your thoughts on the practice and the benefits that you have attained so that it can be helpful for other readers. Till I see you in my next post, happy practicing! 

~M~

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Do you have a favorite pranayama?

Pranayama dirgha by Yimi
The past three months gave me a lot of time to ponder on a lot of things. The extra time I had on hand definitely allowed me to deepen my practices. Since I was recovering from an excruciating lower back injury, I had to divert my attention to Kriya Yoga practices, pranayamas and catch up on reading/self-study. So the subject of discussion for today's post will be Ujjayi pranayama. Besides being my preferred choice of breathing practice, I can confidently say that my body naturally adapts to its unique form of breathing pattern. Well, I am not going to discuss much on the details of the technique, contraindications, benefits and etc. For today, I thought of sharing my personal view and experience of practicing Ujjayi. Two words.... calm and silence. Why silence? Let's just say that I understood the power of silence during my period of hiatus. More silence, less drama. I clearly remember, several times when I had to deal with complications and drama, silence and Ujjayi were my best buddies. Ujjayi immediately slows and lengthens the breath cycle as well as allowing more time for the mind to have a clearer space to think. The moment the mind and emotions can become stable, of course we make better decisions and better conversations. Honestly, patience, a steady mind and emotions and optimism does come with practice. Maybe, ujjayi is my stress buster ball. I didn't realize its importance and positive effects until recent times. Nowadays, I naturally go into ujjayi breathing while driving, reading or meditating. It has become a part of my system. I have to admit, every pranayama has its uniqueness and the effects will only show up with prolonged practice. Over time, it will become effortless. Slowly, but surely. I will get into details of Ujjayi pranayama in my next post. If you are a pranayama practitioner, let me know which one keeps drawing you to practice.

~M~

Monday, 17 November 2014

I'm Back! Returning from a blogging hiatus.....

It does feel good to be back. I know I have abandoned this space for over 3 months. Although, it felt like a relieve at first, over time I felt guilty for neglecting my blog. I love writing and creating content for my readers, so that explains the guilt. My blog is a major part of my life, so I think it deserves my TLC. Well, no regrets, I did enjoy the off time. A LOT of things happened. Life changing experiences, new discoveries, new opportunities and the best part is, spending every single day doing what I love was absolutely divine! Despite of struggling for inspirations and ideas, I continued to embrace my journey as a budding yoga instructor, a yoga practitioner and a permanent yoga student. About a week ago, a sudden thought came to my mind and I knew I had to continue what I had started. So... I'm back. Without making any ambitious promises, I am going to allow the flow to guide me and try my best to publish as frequently as possible. Have great day everybody!

~M~